Is Uganda Suitable for a Family Safari?

Family Safari in Uganda: Of course! Uganda is suitable for family safaris as the country promises an unforgettable adventure, offering a perfect blend of diverse wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and enriching cultural experiences. Traveling with family is not just the perfect way to bond, but also to introduce your children to the various cultures and lifestyles of people outside their world, in addition to discovering enthralling destinations. A family safari in Uganda ensures a memorable journey filled with discovery and wonder for all ages.

Safe and endowed, Uganda stands out as an ideal destination for families seeking a unique and engaging safari experience. With its array of family-friendly lodges and camps, coupled with exciting activities suitable for children of all ages, Uganda ensures a comfortable and safe safari for families.

From the awe-inspiring encounters with mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to the thrilling game drives in Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks, families can witness a variety of iconic African wildlife. A family safari in Uganda offers unwinding, adventurous, and safe activities, as well as well-established lodges and camps that ensure the safety and comfort of your children.

Uganda offers a rich tapestry of experiences that cater to both the adventurous spirit and the curious minds of young travelers; whether it’s enjoying a boat safari on the Nile River in Murchison Falls National Park, exploring the attractive savannah of Lake Mburo, or participating in cultural visits to local communities. A family safari in Uganda is not just a vacation; it’s a transformative journey filled with discovery, bonding, and unforgettable memories. A family safari in Uganda promises an enriching adventure for all ages.

Family Safari in Uganda

Things to Consider Before Planning a Family Safari in Uganda

While a family safari to Uganda can prove to be a one-in-a-lifetime experience, there are several things that travelers ought to know and consider before planning their family safari, for a memorable experience. Here are some of the things to consider;

Age restriction on Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trekking

Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park and gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park are the most popular Uganda safaris. However, there are age restrictions for travelers below 12 years of age for chimpanzee trekking and below 15 years for gorilla trekking. Thus, these experiences may not be suitable for families with younger children. Nonetheless, there are plenty of other family-friendly safari activities in Uganda to enjoy together, ensuring an unforgettable family safari in Uganda.

Nonetheless, the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and the UWEC Zoo in Entebbe provide potential alternatives for exploring chimpanzees behind a fence. Moreover, these primate jungles such as Bwindi, Mgahinga, Kibale, Budongo, Kyambura Gorge, and Kalinzu offer child-friendly activities such as nature walks for an authentic jungle expedition.  

Admission and Park Entry Fees

When visiting Uganda’s national parks and reserves, travelers are required to pay admission and park entry fees, for both adults and children, except those who are under 5. It is essential to be aware of park entrance fees, which apply to both adults and children. Entrance fees for children often cost around $15 or less.

Family Safari in Uganda

Getting Around

Uganda may be smaller compared to some of its neighbors, but it can be a challenge to navigate especially with children, hence careful planning is required. The country’s major airport – Entebbe International Airport is at least a 5 to 10-hour trip from any national park. These long distances may be tiresome for children. Therefore, ensure you plan for stopovers along the way and incorporate some fun activities like visits to museums, cultural centers, the Equator, and perhaps overnight stays in a town. This thoughtful planning ensures a smooth and enjoyable family safari in Uganda.

On the other hand, you can use domestic flights to take you around your safari destinations to save time and energy. There are domestic and scheduled flights from Entebbe to all safari parks and locations around the country, available.

Health Precautions & Malaria Prevention

Ensure that you and your family acquire the necessary vaccinations including yellow fever and carry a simple first aid kit.  Malaria is a significant risk for children traveling in Uganda, and even adults are at risk of severe and potentially fatal malaria. Before embarking on your Uganda family safari, consult your doctor about antimalarial medication for you and your children. While on  a family safari in Uganda, prevent mosquito bites by using appropriate clothing, insect repellent, and sleeping under mosquito nets.

Family-friendly Accommodation

Choosing a family-friendly accommodation is a vital factor when planning your family safari in Uganda. There are various hotels, lodges, and safari camps that offer suitable accommodation for families and some lodges offer family rooms that can accommodate the entire family and provide child-friendly services like special menus and child-friendly activities. 

On the other hand, safari camps may allow infants under five to share a room with their parents for free, while children aged 5-12 often have special rates. Before booking family safari lodges, check the minimum age policies of lodges and camps with your trusted tour operator.

Family Safari in Uganda

Choose Family-friendly Activities

Uganda offers a wealth of safari attractions and activities but not all are ideal for families, as some experiences have age restrictions to manage young travelers’ expectations. When planning your family safari in Uganda, it is essential to check these restrictions for your preferred activities;

Game Viewing

The best activities suitable for families with children below the age of 15 are in Uganda’s savannah parks, each offering distinct attractions and activities. Lake Mburo National Park in the west is mostly suitable for children offering game viewing, horseback riding, quad biking, and boat safaris. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda’s most famous park, provides excellent game drives and boat safaris, allowing families to observe big game like lions, hippos, buffaloes, leopards, and elephants, to name a few.

Murchison Falls National Park, located in the northwest, is another excellent family safari destination. Ranked Uganda’s largest, the park features the world’s most powerful waterfall and a large concentration of wildlife. Game drives here will bring kids up-close with species such as lions, giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, hippos, and massive Nile crocodiles. Another exciting thing here is the boat ride on the Nile River, with its banks teeming with monitor lizards, hippos, and Nile crocodiles. Near Murchison Falls is Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary which offers a thrilling family adventure, tracking rhinos on foot, providing an exciting encounter with one of the world’s largest land mammals.

Family Safari in Uganda

Chimpanzee and Gorilla Trekking

On the other hand, teenagers can participate in the challenging, yet exhilarating treks with wild chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park and gentle mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, and have a more memorable safari experience. However, it is essential to understand that these activities require patience, as navigating thick jungles can be quite challenging. It is crucial to prepare these young travelers.

Cultural Experiences

A family safari in Uganda is an excellent opportunity for you and your children to learn about other cultures and lifestyles of the natives. Uganda offers a tapestry of cultural experiences from visiting local villages, interacting with locals, and engaging in traditional activities such as tasting local cuisine, watching local entertainment, and learning about their customs and traditions. The children can visit a local school and engage with the local students, creating a transformative and educational experience.

Whether it’s in the bustling city of Kampala to the distant villages near national parks, you’ll have exhilarating, unstaged cultural interactions that will astound the entire family. Cultural experiences in Kampala might include a market-day visit, a backstreet city tour, and a home visit to sample local home-cooked meals or an inspiring cultural performance at Ndere Cultural Center. These enriching activities enhance your family safari in Uganda, making it an unforgettable journey filled with discovery and connection.

When is the Best Time to go for a Family Safari in Uganda?

Uganda is a year-round safari destination, however, the best time to explore the country on a family safari is typically during school vacations, winter holidays, and summer breaks.

More so, the best times to explore the country often depend on the weather patterns and while Uganda experiences a tropical climate portrayed by the dry and wet seasons, the driest and most favorable times for family safaris in Uganda are from December to February and the summer vacation between June and August. During these dry months, the conditions for wildlife viewing, gorilla trekking, and chimpanzee trekking are favorable. A lot of travelers avoid the wet seasons, from March to May and September to November, due to unexpected downpours and challenging road conditions. However, during these months, the savannah scenery is lush and green, wildlife is still abundant, and discounts on accommodation and tourist activities are available.

Family Safari in Uganda


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